written by: Mary Brown Malouf
No, we’re not talking politics—we’re talking about everyone’s favorite summer footwear.
Humans have been wearing flip-flops for thousands of years—the Egyptians made them out of papyrus and palm leaves. But their popularity in the U.S. dates from WWII when soldiers returned with Japanese zori. Within a decade or so, midcentury modern-style had transformed the traditional Japanese footwear into a brightly colored, cheap thong that quickly became a beach culture icon. But the flip-flop has never stopped evolving, as you can see here. That’s right, there’s no flip-flopping on flip-flops.
Clockwise from top left: Navy striped, Gap, City Creek ($8); Leopard, Old Navy, multiple locations ($5); Mint cactus, Forever 21, City Creek ($4); Havaianas, Nordstrom, City Creek ($32); Pink flamingo, Forever 21, City Creek ($4)
Barack Obama was the first president of the United States to be photographed wearing flip flops.
See more inside our 2017 July/August Issue.